Ethiopian Energy NGO Gaia Association Receives Grant from Ethiopian Federal EPA to Install Community Microdistilleries for Clean Cooking Projects

Gaia Association has received a grant from the Ethiopian Federal Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) to source and install three microdistilleries in rural Ethiopian communities.  The project will link agriculture to energy with simple, affordable, small-scale processing and distillation equipment. The agreement between EPA and Gaia Association was signed on December 20, 2011. The efficient microdistilleries (EMDs) will be installed, operated, and owned by three unique communities in the Amhara, Afar, and Oromia/Addis Ababa regions.

The EMD equipment will be modular, transportable and self-contained.  The EMDs will transform sugar and starch feedstocks as well as waste products (such as fruit cull and coffee husks) into bioethanol fuel. The EMDs will produce between 120-150 liters of ethanol per day.

As the lead implementer, Gaia Association will be responsible for overseeing the procurement and installation of the EMDs for the project sites. Gaia will also provide technical support such as comprehensive training on EMD operation, fuel production, safety and handling. The project takes a community-based approach in which local feedstocks are sourced and used to produce ethanol fuel. The fuel will be used for stoves and other appliances.  It will also be used to generate power and for small motorized vehicles.  Gaia Association will provide clean-burning ethanol stoves to the communities.  The ethanol stoves will displace traditional wood and charcoal stoves. In the first phase of the project, studies will be conducted in each community to assess the availability of feedstocks and the capacity of the community to own and operate its EMD.  The EPA will closely monitor the project and provide technical and programmatic advice.

The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) is an Ethiopian governmental body that was established under the Ministry of Natural Resources Development and Environmental Protection (MNRD&EP) in May of 1994. Its mission is to establish environmental management systems which support Ethiopia’s current national development efforts, by promoting the sustainable use of natural resources.

Gaia Association is an Ethiopian non-profit, non-governmental organization working to provide modern stoves and clean alcohol fuels to families in Ethiopia, since 2005.  The EMD project represents Gaia’s mission to provide clean, affordable fuel and stoves to all who lack access to clean energy for the household. Gaia’s efforts reduce black carbon and other emissions to levels never before achieved by improved stoves.  Gaia promotes technologies that mitigate climate change, reduce deforestation and improve health outcomes by reducing pollution in the household. In addition to working with the Ethiopian government, Gaia serves as an Implementing Partner to the UNHCR to provide energy services in refugee camps.



Wubshet Tadele  +251-116-183540

Gulce Askin +1(717)-334-5594